What is the difference between fantasy and science fiction?

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Main topic: Humanities
Other topics: Literature
Short answer: The science fiction genre is known for its frequent depiction of imagined societies set in the distant future and its use of futuristic technologies. A fantasy narrative, in contrast, will often take place in a fantastical universe and will include fantastical beings that have access to extraordinary abilities.

The science fiction genre is plausible as it is derived from real-world phenomena. Robots, aliens, and space travel are all possible topics for a work of science fiction. On the other hand, fantasy is entirely made up and is not based on any real-world events. The protagonists of a fantasy story can be talking animals or immortal beings. Things that are depicted in science fiction are hypothetical scenarios that could one day become reality. Things that are very improbable may be made to seem more real via the use of fantasy.[1]

Elements of fantasy and science fiction
Science Fiction Fantasy
Main topic=Science Mythical creatures
Main topic=Technology Supernatural powers
A dystopian setting Robust worldbuilding

Basis of fantasy and science fiction genre[edit]

The genre of fiction is based on speculation of the emergence of new technologies; rather, its focus focuses more widely on envisioning alternate futures or possible eras. When compared to tales of fantasy, science fiction contains elements of the fantastic that are, to a considerable extent, plausible. Even if the storylines and themes of science fiction might be at odds with reality, the fact that these tales are founded on some degree of rationality sets them apart from fantasy. Fantasy, as opposed to science fiction, makes more use of supernatural elements and magic in either its storyline or its subject. The supernatural does not appear in any science fiction no-one ever read.[2]

Unlike fantasy, which is not based on reality and thus cannot become a reality, science fiction is grounded in true scientific principles, making it a possibility. Even if the storylines and themes of science fiction might be at odds with reality, the fact that these tales are founded on some degree of rationality sets them apart from fantasy.[3]


Imagining alternative realities is essential to the writing of both fiction and fantasy. They investigate potential outcomes of the past or the future.

Both genres need regulations. It is not true that anything may happen in fantasy simply because it is not founded on scientific facts or theories, but it does not mean that everything is off limits. Even in a world governed by fiction, there must be some rules and regulations to follow; the only distinction is that the rules and regulations in fantasy are made up by the author.

Some of the laws of the universe in a work of science fiction may have been invented by the author, but more often than not, these rules are the result of the author drawing new conclusions from scientific facts, such as artificial intelligence or the hunt for new technical skills.

Screenwriting style[edit]

The scripting of science fiction and fantasy is distinct from that of any other genre. Because of the very nature of these genres, there is at least one thing that feels strange in comparison to the world in which we live, despite the fact that this item may be rather less. There are instances when the course of the whole world is altered, such as in "The Lord of the Rings." At other times, the universe seems to be a near-mirror copy of our own, as it does in the movie "Enemy of the State." In either scenario, components of the tale continue to exist apart from the constraints of the actual world. Believability is the driving force behind the planning and development of each of these components in advance.[4]

Both science fiction and fantasy usually have a great deal of imaginative and creative components, which is one of the ways in which the two genres are comparable to one another. It is feasible to integrate the same kinds of mythological frameworks in the narrative while writing science fiction as it is when writing fantasy.[5]

For a screenwriter working in the field of science fiction or fantasy, it is of the utmost importance that he has to be familiar with his genre. Otherwise, no one will believe the universe that a screenwriter has created. The sensation of escaping into another world that one gets from watching movies, particularly science fiction and fantasy films, is heightened by the unreal being made real.[6]

Example of science fiction and fantasy genre[edit]

Science fiction Fantasy
The Matrix Jumanji
2001: A Space Odyssey The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Gravity The Wizard of Oz
Dune Alice in Wonderland
Interstellar The Shape of Water
Star Trek Beyond Harry Potter
Inception The Chronicles of Narnia
Looper Shrek


Phenomena that do not exist in "real world" may be found in works of fantasy. On the contrary hand, science fiction is almost connected to real-world events and is centered on scientific principles and technological principles. Both science fiction and fantasy are categories of writing that are intimately related to one another. Both science fiction and fantasy require the creation of fictitious worlds that are quite different from the actual world as it is known to the audience members who are reading or watching the stories. They make use of ideas that do not presently have any practical uses in the real world, such as magic or traveling faster than the speed of light and take inspiration from these ideas. Writers of science fiction and fantasy employ the art of storytelling to bring their fictitious realms to life. These authors conceive universes that do not really exist. On occasion, these two genres may intersect, which blends traditionally mystical aspects like destiny and curses with science fiction themes like deep space travel. Examples of such components and concepts include "fate" and "curses."


  1. Albizu73. "What is the Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy? – Speculative Tertulia". ingmaralbizu.com. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  2. "Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy | Difference Between". Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  3. admin (2016-02-11). "Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy". Pediaa.Com. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  4. Robinson, Jeremy. "The Difference Between Science Fiction and Fantasy: What Every Screenwriter Needs to Know". Writer's Digest. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  5. McDaniel, C. J. (2021-03-20). "Understanding The Difference Between Fiction And Fantasy". Adazing. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  6. McNulty, Bridget (2013-11-26). "Science Fiction vs Fantasy - Fiction and Genre". Now Novel. Retrieved 2022-10-09.